If you're a fan of Friday Night Lights, you know Tami Taylor as the show's beloved mother and role model, but the actress who played her is equally cool, if not cooler. Connie Britton has had a long and successful career in show business, but her personal life reveals plenty of interesting facets of her personality, too.
Britton was born in Boston on March 6, 1967, and grew up in Maryland and Virginia. She started acting in high school plays before majoring in Asian studies in college. She studied acting with famed teacher Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. Though Britton had been a working actress for several years before FNL, her career didn't hit stratospheric heights until she was in her late 30s - an age when Hollywood tends to overlook most actresses.
She Has A Twin
Connie Britton has a fraternal twin sister, Cynthia. Cynthia is not in show business; in fact, she's about as far from Hollywood as a person can get. She works as a defense contractor for the Department of Energy. Perhaps inspired by her life as a twin - spoiler warning - Connie said she would be open to returning to Nashville as Rayna's evil twin after her character was killed off in the fifth season. "Anything can happen," she told Stephen Colbert.
She Used To Teach Aerobics
Like most struggling young actresses, Britton worked a variety of jobs before her big break. She worked for several retail companies, notably at the Gap and the Limited. One of her more exciting positions was as an aerobics instructor, helping clients get in shape. She looked back on her fitness-teacher ensemble years later, when she was walking the red carpet at the Emmys. "I wore leg warmers, I wore a bandana - without question, had to soak up the sweat with a bandana," she told E!'s Giuliana Rancic. "I wore very high-legged leotards, maybe a nice pink leotard with a purple bike short and very thick socks. I was hot."
She Took The Job On 'Friday Night Lights' To Avoid A Stressful Pilot SeasonPhoto: NBCUniversal
The decision to play Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights was almost an afterthought to Britton. At the time, her mother had just died, and Britton didn't feel up to going through the intensive auditioning process of that year's pilot season. She was offered the role of Tami directly, and she saw it as a way to skip a grueling series of auditions and get a steady paycheck for a while. The part seemed relatively minor, and she'd be working with producers she knew and had worked with before. Britton saw it as an opportunity to fly under the radar during what was a difficult personal time, but it ended up cementing her place in modern television canon.
Lauren Graham Was Once Her Roommate
Long before they became two of TV's most iconic moms, Connie Britton and Lauren Graham met in an acting class in New York City. When they decided to move to Los Angeles to jump-start their careers, the two had a mutual friend with an empty house, so they moved in together. "It's that time when everything's a possibility, and we were just trying to live our dream," Britton remembered at a pop culture festival in 2017. Graham wasn't Britton's only famous roommate; when she was in college and studying abroad, she roomed with future senator Kirsten Gillibrand.